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Port of Antwerp intensifies cooperation with coast of West Africa

Antwerp, the second-largest port in Europe, seeks to reinforce its historic position as leader on the coast of West Africa.

ANTWERP, Belgium, March 2, 2018/ — Antwerp and Dakar port authorities (www.PortOfAntwerp.com) (http://www.PortDakar.sn) are to collaborate more closely in the next few years. In this way Antwerp, the second-largest port in Europe, seeks to reinforce its historic position as leader on the coast of West Africa. The Senegalese port of Dakar for its part views the collaboration as a way to position itself as the main regional hub for freight.

In order to put an official seal on the future collaboration, the respective port authorities signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Friday this week. Mr. Aboubacar Sedikh Beye signed for the Port Autonome de Dakar, while Kristof Waterschoot, CEO of two subsidiaries of Antwerp Port Authority (PAI and APEC) , represented the Antwerp side. The signing ceremony was attended by the Belgian first minister Charles Michel and deputy first minister and minister of Development Cooperation Alexander De Croo, both on a working visit to Senegal.

Crossroads of Dakar
With an annual freight volume of 17 million tonnes, Dakar is one of the largest ports on the coast of West Africa. This port city occupies a uniquely strong position on the world map, located at the crossroads of sailing routes between Europe on the one hand and North and South America and southern Africa on the other. Thanks to its excellent sea access, Dakar is one of the few West African ports that are able to handle ships of all dimensions at any time.

But now Dakar has set its sights higher and plans to build a new port 50 km away from the present facility which with a keel depth of 18 metres will be able to handle the latest generation of giant container carriers without difficulty. Together with the new port Dakar also plans an economic and logistics zone of 600 hectares.

Antwerp’s expertise
“We will make use of our experience and expertise to help Dakar realise its ambitions,” declared Kristof Waterschoot after the signature. A recent report by the World Bank underlines the economic potential of the continent but also points up a number of challenges such as the lack of sufficiently trained personnel. “We will immediately step in to fill this gap, by sharing our know-how and expertise. Our training centre APEC remains the partner of choice for training maritime professionals, while our consultancy subsidiary PAI will assist the port authority with the necessary expertise for developing a multipurpose terminal and deepening the approach channels so as to maximise the capacity of the port of Dakar,” Waterschoot concluded.

The MoU also contains a number of commitments in the area of marketing, developing trade relations, organising joint commercial events and exchanging information on subjects such as customs & excise, security and sustainability. The agreement has been signed for a period of five years.

About Efo Korsi Senyo | Executive Editor

Efo Korsi Senyo has over 5 years experience working as an investigative journalist with Awake Africa. He is the Executive Editor of Awake Newspaper and Head of Awake Investigates. Efo does not only investigate and publish based on the journalism profession ethics but he also brings legal and civil actions against personalities and institutions he investigated. He said fighting against injustice and corruption in society as the only way for him to avenge injustice and corrupt acts he and other vulnerable people faced and continue to face in society. Efo is also a private investigator, IT expert and entrepreneur. Connect with him via senyo@awakeafrica.com or WhatsApp: +233249155003

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